Most Common Mistakes Series - Under-estimating the Power of small Daily Actions
It’s fair to say that you won’t lose any measurable weight from one workout.
You also won’t gain 20lbs from one bad meal or bad day.
But the little things add up.
People underestimate the power of these small, seemingly insignificant actions when they’re compounded.
For example, let’s say you have “just one” beer every evening. Call it 200 calories.
The scales won’t show any change in the morning, or even at the end of the week.
But give it a month, or 6 months, or a year, and suddenly you’re changing a LOT.
200 calories a day X 7 days = 1,400 calories
That’s 5,600 in a month, and 72,800 in a year.
If 1lb of fat is 3,500 calories, that’s a gain of nearly 21lbs over the year - from your “just one” beer!
Imagine that over the course of a few years, or your one beer a night plus a “few” at the weekend…
It’s easy to see how weight can creep up on you. Relatively small weekly and monthly changes, but large yearly changes.
On the flip side, this is also all it takes to LOSE that 21lbs a year too.
If you could cut out just one 200-calorie snack/drink a day (that’s one beer, or a chocolate bar…) it may seem like you’re making slow or no progress, but over the months and years, it all adds up.
5 years down the line, you’ve lost 100lbs (if you had 100lbs to lose of course), simply from cutting out one small snack a day, or cutting just 100 calories and walking 20 minutes extra.
It’s the small things that add up the most.
One blowout on a night out will set you back, but if it’s not a regular occurrence, it won’t be the end of the world, at least not compared to one “small” treat repeated daily.
And again, the same goes the other way around too, one huge workout or a week of training twice a day won’t compensate for a year of missed workouts and half-arsed efforts.
Find one small change that you could make that will either save you a couple of hundred calories every day, or burn a couple of hundred extra calories every day (or even better - both!).
If you’ve read my other posts, you’ll likely have seen that I recommend finishing your final bite of food (or calorie-containing drinks) by 8pm at the latest. For most people, this will save you a good couple of hundred calories a day - just think about what you ordinarily eat or drink after dinner each night… Cut out those snacks and you’ve automatically saved yourself some calories PLUS have the benefit of some Intermittent Fasting.
Add in just 15-20 minutes of walking or some other form of exercise per day, and you’re on track for losing 1lb a week easily! (Assuming you cut 250 calories a day, and burn another 250 extra -> 500 calories x7 = 3,500 calories a week).
So it doesn’t have to be all-guns-blazing, eat like a monk and train like an animal 5 days a week to get results.
Just 15-20 minutes of exercise coupled with a small nutritional change will get you where you want to go.
Adding in strength training 2-4 times a week, and improving the quality of the foods you eat will obviously accelerate this, but it doesn’t have to be all at once and it doesn’t have to be difficult; in fact, the more you try to change, and the more difficult your plan is to follow, the less likely you are to get results from it, because going all-out for a few weeks will never beat consistent small changes over the long-term.
So pay attention to the little things you do and see what small changes you can make today to get results in the future.